Honorary street designation celebrates life of teen lost to gun violence

Published: Jun. 25, 2022 at 7:59 PM CDT
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - The mother of a 16-year-old boy lost to gun violence celebrated his life Saturday as an honorary street sign bearing his name was installed.

Chavan Scruggs was shot and killed in September 2021 outside Figures Parks. A 15-year-old was arrested and charged in the case.

Family and friends of Scruggs surrounded his mother, Nija Hill, Saturday morning as she placed the sign proclaiming the street “Chavan J. Scruggs Way” just outside the park in the 1800 block of Allison Street.

Hill said she says it’s been a long road and she hopes it brings more awareness.

“I fought not only for this to be something to remember him by, but I also fought for this to be a reminder to the young youth out here that you don’t have to be a bad person. You can be doing the right thing and not be aware of your surroundings,” Hill said.

“So, I think it is very important to know what is going on around you. I think it is important to stay alert. And, at this time, I think it is important to choose your friends wisely,” she said.

“We have to stop the violence and Chavan was known in this community through these young kids,” said Mobile District 1 City Councilman Cory Penn.

“And so, hopefully, this will bring awareness that when they see the street named after him -- they say ‘look, I’m going to do this, I’m going to continue this for Chavan. I’m going to graduate from high school. And I’m going to do the right thing and I’m going to focus and get on the right track.’ And so, hopefully, this will bring awareness and also celebrate his life as well,” Penn said.

In the weeks following her son’s death, Hill gathered signatures from those who lived on Allison Street to show support for the honorary street designation. The family continues to thank the community for their support in making her goal a reality Saturday.

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